By admin | April 15, 2012
By Richard Allen
If you watched Sunday’s Camping World Truck Series race from the Rockingham Speedway on Sunday you may have noticed a couple of things that are not always a part of NASCAR’s support series races. Those two things were energy and enthusiasm.
It has long been the opinion of this writer that when NASCAR essentially transformed its Nationwide(formerly Busch) Series and the truck series into weekend filler races for Sprint Cup weekends they took away the soul of those two entities. The Rockingham truck race showed what these two divisions could be like on a weekly basis if they were separated from their big brother series.
The race track, the community, the fans and even the competitors in Rockingham viewed the event as an opportunity to shine rather than a way to plug a time slot while waiting for a Sprint Cup race to take place. The race was viewed as that track’s premier event. It was their headliner, not their back story.
It was exciting over the preceding days and weeks to watch as Rockingham Speedway president Andy Hillenberg and his staff went all out to make this race a success. And they succeeded in doing just that as the grandstands were filled and everyone was excited.
Wouldn’t it be great for the Camping World Truck Series and the Nationwide Series to receive that same kind of attention every week rather than having them made into the second class citizens of NASCAR?
I know the reaction of many who read this will be that Rockingham and other venues are not as up to date and lavish as the more modern facilities that have been introduced in recent years. To those who would say that consider that if you drive by a restaurant that has only thirty parking spaces and all thirty are filled, don’t you think that must be a good place to eat because the parking lot is always full? Conversely, if you drive by a restaurant that has 100 parking spaces and forty of them are filled, don’t you wonder why no one ever eats at that place?
Using the same restaurant analogy, surely everyone reading this piece must have a favorite restaurant that isn’t in the most lavish building but it is still a good place to eat.
The point is, too much attention has been given to things that don’t really matter. Is it that important to have luxury boxes to bring potential sponsors into so they can sit and look down on scores of empty seats?
The Iowa Speedway, the Indianapolis Raceway Park, the Nashville Fairgrounds and Rockingham Speedway are perfect places to host NASCAR’s two support series’. Those communities want the events and would or do strive to make them a showcase of their facility. Energy and enthusiasm are more important than luxury boxes and palatial stadiums in some cases and this is one of them.
Click on the link to listen to my Audio Podcast-> Was the Texas race boring?
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